Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke retires today amid many tributes

There is a special sitting being held in the Constitutional Court, to pay tribute to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who is retiring today.

Moseneke was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2002, by then president Thabo Mbeki.

This morning, Judges, politicians and ordinary people have been paying tribute to him , and to the role he has played in our history.

EWN's Ziyanda Ncobo who is in the Constitutional Court today, and gives us her account of the events.

She says former president Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe, parliamentarians, Thandi Modise, chairperson of the NCOP and the country's top legal minds are there, as well as his mother who has been described as his pillar of strength.

Tributes being given have described him as having gone above and beyond the call of duty.

He became an activist at the tender age of 14.

Ziyanda Ncobo, EWN reporter

Moseneke was sent to jail at the age of 15, and he completed his matric on Robben island.

People have outlined his tumultuous journey to get where he has today. The system that was once against him, he has now ended up leading.

Ziyanda Ncobo, EWN reporter

Ncobo says Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng thanked his deputy for his integrity throughout his tenure.

The Chief Justice said we should never reach a stage where the outcome of a case is guaranteed before being heard in court. He spoke frankly about the role of the judiciary and how his deputy has upheld his oath of office.

Ziyanda Ncobo, EWN reporter

Retiring Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke addressed the packed court in a moving speech, thanking everyone who paid tribute to him. he spoke of his journey and how humbled he is by the outpouring form so many.

Stephen Grootes then spoke to one of Moseneke's judicial colleagues, Bernard Ngoepe, the Former Judge President of North and South Gauteng about the man he knows so well.

I have known him for a long time, even before his time on the bench.

Bernard Ngoepe, the Former Judge President of North and South Gauteng

The two men studied law together, practiced as attorneys, then as advocated at the Pretoria bar, before both ending up on the bench.

Ngoepe describes his old colleague as a very industrious and committed person.

He is somebody committed to what he believes in, and the nation always expected him to deliver.

Bernard Ngoepe, the Former Judge President of North and South Gauteng

Ngoepe describes Moseneke as proactive. The man would think laterally. When you hit a ceiling, you become creative and find a way to deliver justice. That is the kind of judge we would like to have.

One of his good attributes, is he has the courage to pursue what he believes in irrespective of the consequences.

Bernard Ngoepe, the Former Judge President of North and South Gauteng

Listen to the interview below:

Stephen Grootes then spoke to Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, who appeared before Deputy Judge President Moseneke many times.

Ntsebenza says Moseneke has had a checkered career, from a rebel to a judge, from political prisoner to one of the most eminent jurists in the land.

it is difficult to talk about the life and career of a person who has traversed the land of politics form the early age of 14, incarcerated, after being tortured, and kept for 90 days, imprisoned for 10 years on Robben Island.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza

Ntsebeza describes appearing before Moseneke.

He spared no one. he had no holy cows.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza

He says everyone appearing before the man had to be on top of his or her game.

He was always probing and testing to the limit the validity of arguments places before the court.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza

Listen to the entire interview below:

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